Published Thursday, March 19, 2020 10:38AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 20, 2020 6:24AM EDT
Doctors in Halton Region say a man in his 50s with an underlying health condition reported to Milton District Hospital on March 11 with what appeared to be a case of pneumonia.
His condition worsened over time and early in the morning on Wednesday he was rushed to the ICU at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:15 a.m.
His widow identified him as Sean Cunnington, 51, a father of three who worked in sales and loved to play the guitar.
“We know that he did not travel outside Canada nor does he have a connection to a known COVID-19 case, and thus the indication is that there is local transmission,” Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health said Thursday.
Halton Healthcare Medical Director Dr. Neil Rau said the man had an underlying health condition but otherwise was “someone who had a good quality of life prior to their death.”
Rau said the Cunnington was treated with standard infection control protocols due to his respiratory illness.
Meghani said a detailed contact tracing of the patients whereabouts prior to hospitalization is underway, and his immediate family may be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
She said the fact he was apparently killed by community transmission of the virus should shock people into obeying provincial emergency declarations and practicing strict social distancing.
“We need to stop doing things that are non-essential at this time,” she said, adding that workplaces should also take heed from what is occurring. “I think it is important for each and every employer to think about what is essential and what is non-essential.”
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